This week marked the fourth anniversary of Writing Privacy. Time for a long-overdue makeover, I thought. And perhaps more importantly, time for a change.
It’s the time of the year when, either in pleasure or platitude, we are naturally drawn to reflect upon companionship (or the absence of it). And though I’m rather at a loss after an already tribulation-filled February, it almost goes without saying that the good poet finds such a beautiful way of coming to terms with this absence.
It feels like the final chapter of my thesis, on Andrew Marvell’s ‘Poetics of Privacy’, has been a traumatic experience. Not simply because writing by day and by night on different subjects is gruelling, but because the private internal negotiations that Marvell constantly faced and the impossibility of choice he so often found himself with leave a man permanently trapped in a life that offers so little solace and almost nothing except a desperate rush towards the end.
I’ve thought many times before that Andrew Marvell’s life and my own show distinct traces of overlap, and it’s never escaped me that this may be one of the reasons why I identify so closely with his writing.
The Fairfax 400 Conference took place at the Centre for English Local History, University of Leicester, on June 30th and July 1st, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Thomas, Lord Fairfax (1612-1671).
By the time Andrew Marvell turned 28 (as I recently did) in March 1649, Charles I had been executed. The regicide inspired one of the best political poems ever written, and ended up shaping a history that would define Marvell’s fascinating future career.
How Doctor Who brings to light one of Andrew Marvell’s most touching moments – his lines on the passing of Oliver Cromwell’s daughter.
Late last year marked my eighth presentation, making this is one of my stronger zones. An extended version of the following was submitted as part of an application to become a contributor at the ‘What’s up doc?’ blog at Vitae.
Delegates from Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, and Nottingham Trent convened at De Montfort University for the second East Midlands Early Modern Colloquium.
Last autumn, I wrote an article on blogging for everywoman, but it’s always easier to preach than to practice. Perhaps I can write convincingly on what makes a good blog, but can I practice it? Silent observations have made me think about what it takes to improve a quiet cornerstone like this page.